#Humbug Day

Not only is it Humbug Day, but also Look On The Bright Side Day. They seem diametrically opposed. But if you are familiar with Charles Dickens’ ‘A Chrismas Carol’, you know that Ebenezer Scrooge began as a humbug type of person and by the end embraced the Christmas spirit.

I hope that wasn’t a spoiler!

I recommend reading the book. If you can’t manage that, then watch one of the many movies. I love the older black-and-white version, someone else I know likes the Muppets’ Christmas Carol movie, while others like the Bill Murray-helmed ‘Scrooged’.

Every one of these stories tells a story of redemption. It’s never too late to make a change in your life. It doesn’t matter your age or your history. Embrace the good and reject the pressure and the bad of this season, no matter which holiday you celebrate.

It’s a time of remembrance and hope. Don’t get so caught up in your ‘to-do list’ that you forget the importance of slowing down and enjoying some time with your thoughts and family.

Slow down! Sonja

Have Yourself A Sweet Day

Mark-Hewitson-Photography on Unsplash

It’s ‘Bake Cookies Day’, so get out your butter, sugar, and flour and get in there! This is the best time of year to bake, and it doesn’t matter if you want to bake chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, or Snickerdoodles. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like at least one type of cookie.

Have a great holiday season and enjoy your baking, Sonja

On This Day–

The Wright Brothers

It was December 17, 1903, that Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first flight with a powered aircraft. The first flight lasted 59 seconds and went 852 feet at an elevation of 20 feet. Orville had just flown into history.

The brothers owned a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A. and experimented with flight there for almost ten years before finding success. Orville and Wilbur chose the beach at Kitty Hawk because a constant wind blew off the ocean and would help their aircraft fly.

In the above photo, Orville is seen lying inside the aircraft and Wilbur is the man standing at its right.

It’s hard to believe that today, just 116 years later, it is almost routine to fly across the ocean or around the world.

Photo by Ben Neale on Unsplash

If you plan on traveling for the holidays, don’t forget to pack your sense of humor–and a good book (I suggest one of mine!).

Enjoy your holiday! Sonja

#Giving #Charity

Whichever form of faith you follow, this is the season of giving–the season of charity. My hope is that you give and offer throughout the year.

There are those who have little need of actually ‘stuff’. Give of your time.

There are those who are in need of love. Give your love.

There are those who are in need of food. Consider giving to your local food bank.

There are those who are in need of transportation. Consider giving your time and drive them where they need to go–if you are able.

Anywhere you look, you will find someone in need. Try to determine what it is they need without asking. Most people will deny having any need, but a few minutes of your time or a plate of cookies or small token will do wonders to bring them joy.

Give of yourself. Sonja

Day of Remembrance

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Above is the USS Arizona Memorial. The memorial building straddles the rusting hull of the USS Arizona. You can see the ship below the water. It entombs most of the sailors and Marines that were killed during the surprise attack on the harbor by Japanese pilots.

The memorial was commissioned in 1949 and was funded by public and private donations.

Some survivors of the attack have chosen to be interred with their shipmates on the USS Arizona. More than thirty have chosen to have their ashes placed under one of the gun turrets. Those who served on the USS Arizona, but were not assigned to the ship during the attack on December 7, 1941, can have their ashes scattered above the site.

Photo by Ryan Parker on Unsplash

The ship continues to release fuel into the waters of Pearl Harbor. Sometimes called “black tears” or “tears of the Arizona”, this oil is constantly monitored to prevent an ecological disaster if a large amount is suddenly released from the rusting tanks.

The entire band was killed. This was the only time all the members of a band were KIA. The members of the band were on the ship and most were on deck in preparation to raise the flag. When the attack began, they ran to their battle stations beneath one of the gun turrets. The band had been a finalist in the “Battle of the Music” competition between all the ship bands in Pearl Harbor.

Twenty-three sets of brothers assigned to the USS Arizona died. One father and son duo was killed. As a result of these deaths, the U.S. government attempted to discourage having family members serve aboard the same ship, but no official regulations had been made.

Mark the sacrifice of these men and their families. Sonja

 

Get in a Flip Flop State of Mind

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

What do you think of when you wear flip flops? (Sometimes called thongs.)

I think of sand, beach, and relaxation. I hope you are able to find one of those things during this holiday season.

It can be hectic to get everything that you think must be done–done. But don’t forget the foundation of the holiday: peace, love, and joy.

Don’t get too crazy with all of your “I should–” and “I need to–”

Take a moment to enjoy. Sonja

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s an important day for all those in the United States. Today is Thanksgiving. My new book, The Voyage, would be a wonderful read to mark this day. It tells of the trials of a man who traveled throughout Europe as he searched for religious freedom.

His family settled first in Plymouth Colony and then to Sandwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. This illustrated easy-to-read book is available exclusively on Amazon.com.

I’m also offering Book 3 of The Fairies of Carlow, The Commoner, at special pricing starting today. This book is a middle-grade chapter book and takes place in a fairy kingdom. The Commoner tells the story of a fairy princess who chafes under the restrictions placed upon her. She flees the palace and lives as a commoner. Will she return to her royal life?

I hope you take advantage of the special pricing, which ends on November 30, and also take a look at my newest book.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! Sonja

It’s Veterans Day

Fly your flag! It’s time to honor our nation’s veterans.

Originally, called Armistace Day, Veterans day is the day to honor those who have served in the military.

It is observed on November 11th of each year because that date is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistace that ended World War I. It was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor the veterans of all wars.

If you’re wondering about my grammar, Veterans Day is officially written without the apostrophe.

Did you now that the Mayflower Compact was signed on November 11, 1620? There was a small group of Americans who lobbied to have the holiday renamed Mayflower Day to honor that occasion.

I hope you fly your flag to honor U.S. veterans! Sonja

It’s Election Day!

Photo by Josh Carter on Unsplash

It’s time to cast a vote for the country. If you’re not eligible to vote, please encourage those in your life who can. If you are, please send in your mail-in ballot or go to the polls.

It’s so important for every eligible citizen to cast a vote. Here in Arizona, we are voting on important city issues, plus filling soon-to-be-vacant offices at the local level.

National elections are always held on the first Tuesday of the month–the first Tuesday that follows a Monday. So, if Tuesday is the first day of the month, then the elections are held the following week.

Congress decided on that day in 1845, specifically for presidential elections. November was an ideal time of the year since the harvest season was ending. This made it easier for people who lived in the country and worked farms to get to a polling station and cast their votes.

Every state in the union is holding elections today to select public officials and decide on legislation.

Be a part of the process! Sonja